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Chiropractic FAQ

Chiropractic FAQ

Unanswered Questions About Chiropractic Care Answered

Have you ever wondered what chiropractic care is all about? With so many misconceptions surrounding this alternative form of healthcare, it’s no wonder people have unanswered questions. In this comprehensive chiropractic FAQ guide, we’ll address frequently asked questions about chiropractic care and clear up any misunderstandings. You’ll learn about the history, education, techniques, safety, and effectiveness of chiropractic care, as well as its benefits during pregnancy.

Key Takeaways

  • Chiropractic care is a form of manual manipulation used to diagnose and treat musculoskeletal disorders without the need for drugs or surgery.

  • Chiropractors receive comprehensive education and training in chiropractic principles, techniques, diagnosis, treatment planning and safety precautions.

  • Finding a qualified chiropractor requires researching their qualifications and expertise as well as seeking referrals from trusted sources.

Chiropractic Care Explained

Introduced by Daniel David Palmer in 1895, chiropractic care centers on spinal adjustments to diagnose and treat musculoskeletal disorders, eliminating the need for drugs or surgery.

Today, millions of people worldwide benefit from chiropractic treatments, which are often more economical than other medical treatments, such as surgery or medication. Indeed, chiropractors contribute significantly to pain management teams by using manual manipulation techniques that alleviate pain and improve mobility.

What is chiropractic care?

Chiropractic care encompasses a variety of treatments, including:

  • Manual manipulation

  • Spinal decompression

  • Laser therapy

  • Acupuncture

  • Therapeutic massage

  • Cryotherapy

The primary responsibility of a chiropractor is to diagnose, treat, and prevent mechanical disorders of joints, particularly those of the spine, and their effects on the nervous and muscular system. Chiropractors strive to guide their patients towards optimal health by targeting the root cause of these disorders rather than relying on pharmaceuticals.

Aside from manual manipulation, chiropractors employ a range of techniques and treatments, customized according to the patient’s condition severity and personal preferences. These treatments may include spinal adjustments to realign a herniated disc, spinal decompression therapy, or the use of lasers or electrical stimulation to address sciatic pain.

Chiropractic care vs. traditional medicine

Chiropractic care supports traditional medicine by targeting the root cause of pain and fostering overall wellness, circumventing the need for medication or surgery. While traditional medicine often focuses on treating symptoms, chiropractic care aims to address the underlying issues contributing to pain and discomfort. As a result, chiropractic care is often more effective in managing musculoskeletal disorders, such as back pain, neck pain, and headaches, compared to traditional treatments.

Generally, chiropractic care poses fewer side effects and risks than traditional medicine, particularly those associated with prescription drugs and surgery. In some cases, chiropractors may collaborate with other healthcare professionals to devise a plan of action that is beneficial to their patients, particularly in cases of severe pain. While chiropractors prescribe medication in certain situations, this holistic approach to healthcare ensures that patients receive the most effective treatments with minimal artificial intervention.

Chiropractic Education and Training

Chiropractors, like medical doctors, undergo extensive education and training in the principles and techniques of chiropractic care. This education typically begins with college- or university-level instruction in the field of chiropractic and culminates with enrollment in a Doctor of Chiropractic degree program.

Throughout their education, chiropractors study subjects such as anatomy, physiology, pathology, neurology, biomechanics, nutrition, and other related subjects.

Chiropractic education process

Chiropractors must complete a rigorous educational program, comprising a minimum of 4,200 classroom hours, covering anatomy, physiology, neurology, and nutrition. Earning a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) requires a significant amount of classroom time. This is comparable to the number of hours required to become a Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathy (DO).

During their education, chiropractors receive comprehensive instruction in subjects such as:

  • Anatomy

  • Physiology

  • Neurology

  • Microbiology

  • Endocrinology

  • Biomechanics of the body

  • Diagnostic imaging

  • Nutrition

  • Exercise

  • Rehabilitation

This extensive training ensures that chiropractors are well-prepared to diagnose, treat, and prevent musculoskeletal disorders affecting the spine and nervous system.

Licensing and certification

To become a licensed and certified chiropractor, one must pass a national board exam and obtain a state license. This rigorous process verifies the qualifications, training, and expertise of chiropractors, establishing them as skilled medical professionals in their field.

Some chiropractors may also pursue additional certifications to supplement their practice and enhance their skills in specific areas of chiropractic care.

Common Conditions Treated by Chiropractors

Chiropractors treat a variety of conditions, such as:

  • Back pain

  • Neck pain

  • Headaches

  • Sports injuries

With their focus on the spine and nervous system, chiropractors can effectively address these conditions and help patients achieve relief from pain and discomfort.

In addition to treating these common conditions, chiropractic care may also offer relief for a variety of other ailments that have not responded to conventional treatments.

Back pain

Back pain is a prevalent issue addressed by chiropractors, affecting over 80% of people at some point in their lives. Chiropractic care has been proven effective in treating back pain, with studies showing that patients who initiated care with a chiropractor experienced a 90% decrease in pain over four weeks, which is substantially higher than the results of traditional medical care (56%).

Chiropractic care is a safe and effective way to treat back pain, with

Neck pain

Neck pain can be attributed to a range of causes, including poor posture, injury, and overuse. Chiropractic care can help treat neck pain by applying targeted adjustments to the spine and pelvis, which can help reduce tension and improve alignment, thereby relieving pain.

In some cases, chiropractic care may be combined with other treatments, such as physical therapy or acupuncture, to provide the most effective relief for neck pain.


Headaches, including tension and migraine, can be alleviated through chiropractic care. By targeting the source of pain and encouraging general wellbeing without the use of medication or surgery, chiropractic care can help reduce the frequency and intensity of headaches, providing effective relief for many sufferers.

Sports injuries

Sports injuries involving muscles, ligaments, and joints can benefit from chiropractic treatment. Chiropractic care can help alleviate pain, enhance range of motion, and hasten recovery time for sports injuries by:

  • Realigning the spine with chiropractic adjustments

  • Improving range of motion with adjustments and exercises

  • Reducing inflammation to facilitate recovery

Chiropractic Techniques and Procedures

Chiropractic care involves various techniques and procedures, including chiropractic adjusting procedures, spinal manipulation, and soft tissue therapy, which are tailored to the severity of the patient’s condition and individual preferences.

By collaborating with the patient to create a treatment plan, chiropractors are able to address the root cause of their issues and help them achieve optimal health.

Spinal manipulation

Spinal manipulation, also known as chiropractic adjustment or chiropractic manipulation, is a primary treatment method used to improve spinal function and reduce pain. By applying controlled force in a precise manner to restore joint mobility, spinal manipulation therapy (SMT) can help alleviate the symptoms of various conditions, such as back pain, neck pain, and headaches.

The safety and effectiveness of spinal manipulation have been well-documented, with research showing that chiropractic adjustments are generally safe and effective for treating various conditions, including:

  • Back pain

  • Neck pain

  • Headaches

  • Sports injuries

However, it is important to consult a qualified chiropractor to ensure that spinal manipulation is appropriate for your specific condition and needs, especially if you have experienced significant spinal trauma.

Soft tissue therapy

Soft tissue therapy targets muscles, ligaments, and tendons to relieve pain and improve function. Techniques used in soft tissue therapy may include:

  • Massage

  • Stretching

  • Joint mobilization

  • Trigger point therapy

By focusing on the soft tissues of the body, this therapy can help:

  • Reduce pain

  • Increase range of motion

  • Decrease inflammation

  • Improve overall performance

This makes it an effective treatment option for many patients, addressing a variety of conditions.

Exercise and rehabilitation

Exercise and rehabilitation programs prescribed by chiropractors may include:

  • Stretching exercises

  • Strengthening exercises

  • Balance exercises

  • Lifestyle modifications such as proper nutrition and stress management

These programs are designed to strengthen muscles and prevent future injuries.

By incorporating exercise and rehabilitation into their treatment plans, chiropractors can help patients achieve optimal health and prevent potential injuries.

Safety and Effectiveness of Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care has been proven effective for various conditions, including:

  • Back pain

  • Neck pain

  • Headaches

  • Sports injuries

For most patients, it has minimal risks compared to other medical treatments, such as prescription drugs and surgery.

Next, we delve into the safety and effectiveness of chiropractic adjustments, and how they contribute to enhancing patients’ overall health and wellbeing.

Are chiropractic adjustments safe?

Chiropractic adjustments are generally safe, with minimal risks compared to other medical treatments, such as prescription drugs and surgery. However, like any medical procedure, it is important to consult a qualified chiropractor to ensure that chiropractic adjustments are appropriate for your specific condition and needs.

In the hands of a skilled practitioner, chiropractic adjustments can provide effective relief from pain and improve overall health.

Effectiveness of chiropractic care

Numerous studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of chiropractic care for various conditions, including back pain, neck pain, headaches, and sports injuries.

By targeting the source of pain and encouraging general wellbeing without the use of medication or surgery, chiropractic care can offer a safe and natural alternative for those seeking relief from pain and discomfort.

Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy

For pregnant women seeking to manage pain and discomfort, chiropractic care serves as a safe and effective healthcare alternative.

Next, we delve into the advantages of prenatal chiropractic care and the necessary safety measures during pregnancy.

Benefits of prenatal chiropractic care

Prenatal chiropractic care can help relieve pregnancy-related aches and pains, improve pelvic balance, and promote a smoother delivery. By providing targeted adjustments to the spine and pelvis, chiropractic care can help reduce tension and improve alignment, thereby relieving pain and discomfort during pregnancy.

In addition to pain relief, prenatal chiropractic care can also improve pelvic alignment, reducing the risk of complications during childbirth and potentially repositioning the baby in the womb. This can lead to a more comfortable and smoother delivery for both mother and baby.

Safety precautions during pregnancy

Chiropractic treatments during pregnancy are safe when performed by a qualified practitioner, with necessary precautions and adjustments made to accommodate each stage of pregnancy.

Prior to seeking chiropractic care, it is recommended that pregnant women:

  • Consult their physician

  • Ensure that the chiropractor has experience in treating pregnant women

  • Ensure that the chiropractor is able to adjust treatments accordingly, based on the stage of pregnancy and the individual needs of the patient.

Finding a Qualified Chiropractor

To guarantee the best possible care for your specific condition, securing a qualified chiropractor is crucial. There are several resources available to help you find a chiropractor near you, including referrals and recommendations from trusted sources, as well as online resources such as review websites and certified chiropractor directories.

When researching potential chiropractors, it is important to consider their qualifications, experience, and

Referrals and recommendations

Seeking referrals and recommendations from trusted sources, such as friends, family, or healthcare providers, can provide valuable insight into the quality of care offered by a chiropractor and help identify a chiropractor who is experienced in treating a particular condition. Securing personal recommendations and consulting with local physicians will aid in finding a chiropractor who aligns with your needs and preferences.

In addition to personal recommendations, it is also important to research a chiropractor prior to scheduling an appointment in order to evaluate their qualifications and expertise in treating your specific condition. This can be done by:

  • Visiting their website

  • Reading online reviews

  • Asking questions during the initial consultation to establish if the chiropractor is the right fit for you and your requirements.

Online resources

Utilize online resources, including review websites and certified chiropractor directories, to find a qualified chiropractor near you. Websites such as, ICPA’s online directory, and chiropractic directory websites like,, and can help you identify a qualified chiropractor in your area.

Online research and comparison of various chiropractors can help you find a suitable practitioner with the right experience, qualifications, and ability to meet your specific needs.


In this comprehensive guide, we have explored the world of chiropractic care, dispelling common misconceptions and providing answers to frequently asked questions. By understanding the history, education, techniques, safety, and effectiveness of chiropractic care, as well as its benefits during pregnancy, you can make an informed decision about whether this alternative form of healthcare is right for you. With the right chiropractor by your side, you can embark on a journey towards a healthier, pain-free life.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should you not do after seeing a chiropractor?

After seeing a chiropractor, avoid sitting for long periods of time and go for a walk or bike ride instead.

How often should you get adjusted by a chiropractor?

When starting a new treatment plan, it’s common to have adjustments multiple times a week, which can then drop to once a week when the body begins to heal. For maintenance, it’s recommended to get adjusted once or twice a month.

When should you not get adjusted by a chiropractor?

Chiropractic care may not be suitable for patients with herniated or slipped discs, arthritis, fractures, severe osteoporosis, numbness, tingling, loss of strength, cancer in the spine or a known bone abnormality in the upper neck.

What conditions can chiropractic care treat?

Chiropractic care is an effective treatment for common conditions like back pain, neck pain, headaches, car accident injuries and sports injuries.

“From my experience, personal connections and continuous care are the most important things. Therefore I always take the time to get to know my patients.”
Dr. Paula Harris
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